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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Ultralow Oxygen Treatment for Postharvest Control of Western Flower Thrips, Frankliniella Occidentalis, on Broccoli

item Liu, Yong Biao

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2007
Publication Date: June 20, 2007
Citation: Liu, Y. 2007. Ultralow oxygen treatment for postharvest control of western flower thrips, frankliniella occidentalis, on broccoli. Journal of Economic Entomology. 100:717-722.

Interpretive Summary: Results from controlled atmosphere studies on postharvest control of western flower thrips on broccoli were reported. Ultralow oxygen treatment of 10 days with 0.03 percent oxygen killed all thrips but also caused off-odor development. At even lower oxygen levels, five day treatment successfully controlled thrips on broccoli without any negative effects on broccoli quality or shelf-life. The ultralow oxygen treatments are promising in controlling western flower thrips on broccoli.

Technical Abstract: Laboratory study was conducted to develop ultralow oxygen (ULO) treatment for control of western flower thrips on broccoli at a low temperature of 1'C. Total mortality of the insect was achieved in 5 days at 0.003 percent oxygen. Oxygen level affected efficacy of ULO treatment. At a higher oxygen level of about 0.03 percent, 6 day treatment killed about 85 percent of thrips and 10 day treatment killed all thrips. The 5 day ULO treatment with 0.003 percent oxygen was successfully tested on iced commercial broccoli of several cultivars without any noticeable negative effects on shelf-life or postharvest quality. The ultralow oxygen treatment provided a safe and effective alternative for postharvest control of western flower thrips on exported broccoli for industrial development and application.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015